Sean Demory, the brains behind Pine Float Press, was the first author I reached out to when we started Read Local. His original interview holds up just as well today as it did last year. He joins us again in preparation for our 2016 Writers Conference. Demory, with Scott Novosel and CW Cook will discuss how each of them have successfully used Crowdfunding to fund projects.
Introduce yourself. Where do you live and work?
My name's Sean Demory. I live and work in Kansas City, Missouri, where I work for the Public Works Department by day and write by whenever. I'm also the founder of Pine Float Press, a small press focusing on electronic publication of short fiction and off-kilter anthology.
What kind of writing do you do?
I'm a short fiction man, occasionally branching out to novellas. I buy into Lou Reed's statement that all you need is two guitars, a bass and a drum, and short fiction's more often than not just that. I'm firmly in the genre fiction ghetto, working on everything from Shakespearean high fantasy to supernatural crime fiction to retro-noir science fiction.
How long have you been writing?
I've been writing and attempting to make money at it for more than thirty years.
Did you choose your genre, or did it choose you?
I write what I read, and I'm fond of all of the different incarnations of speculative fiction. I read across the map, but spec-fic's home.
How many unpublished manuscripts are stuffed in your desk drawer (or in a folder on your computer)?
SO MANY. I've got about eight things that I'm bouncing between in the "Finish this year" pile, but I'm scheduled out to 2025.
What do you find most challenging or surprising about the writing process? The publishing process?
I enjoy taking risks in writing, and it's great when a reader's willing to come along with me in that process. The biggest surprise in the publishing process is how easy it is, once it gets going. Collaboration's a blast, and having all of the pieces fall into place is a thing unto itself.
On what does your writing productivity depend? Is it a routine, a place, a special pen?
Decent night's sleep. I'm not a fan of moods or muses, so I need to be able to concentrate before I put in work.
What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever gotten?
"Stop telling me how cool your characters are." Saying "kill your darlings" is facile and pretty ridiculous, given that Telling Cool Stories About Cool Things is the reason that any of us get into this dodge, but there's a lot to be said for letting your characters' movement through the world provide more description than shouting out their praises to the highest hills.
To whom do you look for inspiration?
That's a fantastic question, and one I'm not sure I can answer easily. Everything and everyone's grist for the mill, really.
What books do you recommend to fellow readers and writers?
I'm inordinately fond of A.E. Ash, Marshall Edwards, Orrin Grey and Steven George Saunders, my Pine Float Press cronies. Aside from that, I love Umberto Eco's plotting, Jack O'Connell's conceptual rigor, Lauren Beukes' characterization and world-building and always, always John Crowley. Crowley takes my breath away every time I read his work, even if it's something I've read a hundred times before. Especially if I've read it a hundred times before.